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What's the best mATX case for me?

Poll Results: Which mATX case?

 
  • 0% (0)
    SilverStone Fortress Series FT03
  • 57% (4)
    SilverStone Temjin Series TJ08B-E
  • 28% (2)
    NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan
  • 14% (1)
    Silverstone SG09
7 Total Votes  
post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a mATX case that has a small footprint, is portable, has sufficient cooling and will be compatible with this hardware:

The poll is on the current cases I'm looking at, any other suggestions are welcome.

Thank you.
post #2 of 7
Personally Temjin might be the best in terms of noise/size ratio.

Otherwise if size is a more heavily weighted factor then SG09 is definitely smaller. Built in a TJ08E and I have it's twin, the PS07B, a joy to work in, it's awesome for airflow as well.

As for that build... dat RAM. Not necessary haha but a very slick looking build.
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Yesz
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Yamakasi Catleap 27" (2560x1440) dasKeyboard Silent (Browns) XFX 550w Silverstone PS07B 
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post #3 of 7
Vulcan owner here!

Cooling - Vulcan is probably hands down the best because of MESH! EVERYWHERE! The con about the mesh though, dust. Be prepared to dust your computer frequently!

Noise - You won't have to worry too much about fan noise, as the built in fan controllers can tune them down. Highly recommend Enermax Twister-bearing fans. The noisiest component these days is probably the graphics card, but if you get a card with a dual fan Twin-Frozr-like-design, heat (and thus noise) won't be an issue. Protip: you shouldn't use rifle bearing fans on the top fan mounts.. these fans will have a much shorter lifespan. Personal experience on this one.

Heatsink - I don't know about the other cases, but I'm pretty sure that heatsink you have listed won't fit in the Vulcan. I know some people were even having issues mounting the CM 212. I'm using the Enermax ETD-T60 TB Silence heatsink: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835214026

The reason I recommend this down-flow heatsink over traditional tower heatsinks (like the one you listed) is because the Vulcan does a better job exhausting out the top than the rear (2x 120 on top vs. 1x 92/80mm on back). Plus, it will pull in cool air through the mesh side grill. I know Cooler Master also makes heatsinks similar to this design.

If you plan on water cooling, you can forget about a 240mm radiator, unless you're good with dremel tools and pop rivet guns. The Vulcan Owners Club thread here on OCN does have plenty of users who added WC components to the Vulcan, but many of the larger radiators will require modding. I do know that a 120mm radiator can fit in the front fan mount of the case.

Footprint - Well, compared to many cheap ATX cases the footprint isn't necessarily small, but definitely smaller than a lot of Corsair's products that can support crazy quad-SLI configurations and a bajillion hard drives. I think it's the perfect size for a desktop, but personally my next build will be to downsize to this ITX: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ncase-m1-prototype-a-mini-itx-case

I read that you may consider crossfire/SLI.. that's going to be pretty hard to do in a mATX case. Your graphics cards will be sandwiched between the heatsink, each other, and the power supply. Definitely don't recommend going that route unless you plan on doing custom waterblocks which will free up some space. Also, depending on how thick the fans are, you might not be able to stack those two Sapphire graphics cards directly on top of each other without the blades of one running into the PCB of the other.

Why I bought the Vulcan - I was on a budget, spent $50 or so on this case on sale IIRC. The case is lightweight but sturdy, has a carrying handle, and like I said previously has excellent cooling. Wish it didn't look as gamer-esque as it does, but that minor con doesn't outweigh the many pros. If you want to see how some Vulcan builds have turned out, you can check out my sig rig Spartan (has actual photo) or search OCN for the Vulcan Owner's Club
Edited by mingqi53 - 3/23/13 at 11:14am
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashFir View Post

Personally Temjin might be the best in terms of noise/size ratio.

Otherwise if size is a more heavily weighted factor then SG09 is definitely smaller. Built in a TJ08E and I have it's twin, the PS07B, a joy to work in, it's awesome for airflow as well.

As for that build... dat RAM. Not necessary haha but a very slick looking build.
Thanks for the response, with the TJ08E would I need an SFX PSU with short cables, or how is it in regards to cable management?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mingqi53 View Post

Vulcan owner here!

Cooling - Vulcan is probably hands down the best because of MESH! EVERYWHERE! The con about the mesh though, dust. Be prepared to dust your computer frequently!

Noise - You won't have to worry too much about fan noise, as the built in fan controllers can tune them down. Highly recommend Enermax Twister-bearing fans. The noisiest component these days is probably the graphics card, but if you get a card with a dual fan Twin-Frozr-like-design, heat (and thus noise) won't be an issue. Protip: you shouldn't use rifle bearing fans on the top fan mounts.. these fans will have a much shorter lifespan. Personal experience on this one.

Heatsink - I don't know about the other cases, but I'm pretty sure that heatsink you have listed won't fit in the Vulcan. I know some people were even having issues mounting the CM 212. I'm using the Enermax ETD-T60 TB Silence heatsink: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835214026

The reason I recommend this down-flow heatsink over traditional tower heatsinks (like the one you listed) is because the Vulcan does a better job exhausting out the top than the rear (2x 120 on top vs. 1x 92/80mm on back). Plus, it will pull in cool air through the mesh side grill. I know Cooler Master also makes heatsinks similar to this design.

If you plan on water cooling, you can forget about a 240mm radiator, unless you're good with dremel tools and pop rivet guns. The Vulcan Owners Club thread here on OCN does have plenty of users who added WC components to the Vulcan, but many of the larger radiators will require modding. I do know that a 120mm radiator can fit in the front fan mount of the case.

Footprint - Well, compared to many cheap ATX cases the footprint isn't necessarily small, but definitely smaller than a lot of Corsair's products that can support crazy quad-SLI configurations and a bajillion hard drives. I think it's the perfect size for a desktop, but personally my next build will be to downsize to this ITX: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ncase-m1-prototype-a-mini-itx-case

I read that you may consider crossfire/SLI.. that's going to be pretty hard to do in a mATX case. Your graphics cards will be sandwiched between the heatsink, each other, and the power supply. Definitely don't recommend going that route unless you plan on doing custom waterblocks which will free up some space. Also, depending on how thick the fans are, you might not be able to stack those two Sapphire graphics cards directly on top of each other without the blades of one running into the PCB of the other.

Why I bought the Vulcan - I was on a budget, spent $50 or so on this case on sale IIRC. The case is lightweight but sturdy, has a carrying handle, and like I said previously has excellent cooling. Wish it didn't look as gamer-esque as it does, but that minor con doesn't outweigh the many pros. If you want to see how some Vulcan builds have turned out, you can check out my sig rig Spartan (has actual photo) or search OCN for the Vulcan Owner's Club
Thank you for the in depth response, the main thing I am worried about is the noise, due to the mesh design of the Vulcan. How well is cooling when the fans are turned down and is there an audible hum of the fans?

Also, what would you compare the case to in terms of size? It's hard to judge from pictures.
post #5 of 7
No I have an OCZ StealthXStream II, full ATX size in a PS07B. Only in super SFF cases do you need to get an SFX psu.

Look at review for the temjin.

Anandtech and Silentpcreview are my favorites
Edited by FlashFir - 3/23/13 at 2:15pm
Yesz
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MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Yamakasi Catleap 27" (2560x1440) dasKeyboard Silent (Browns) XFX 550w Silverstone PS07B 
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Yesz
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K G1 Sniper M3 RX 480 16gb CL9 1600 1.5v 
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Seagate 3TB Crucial 500GB SSD 1TB WD Black Noctua NH-D14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Yamakasi Catleap 27" (2560x1440) dasKeyboard Silent (Browns) XFX 550w Silverstone PS07B 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Nixeus Revel SteelSeries Qck+ SR850/Klipsch 2.1 
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheExile View Post

Thank you for the in depth response, the main thing I am worried about is the noise, due to the mesh design of the Vulcan. How well is cooling when the fans are turned down and is there an audible hum of the fans?

Also, what would you compare the case to in terms of size? It's hard to judge from pictures.

Well, the amount of noise people are willing to put up with varies between people. If my room is completely quiet and my fans are on the lowest settings, I definitely hear the audible movement of air (though very very quiet). It's quiet enough for me to study, but like I said, depends on the listener.

If I'm listening to music, I definitely can't hear the fans tongue.gif

When I max the fans out, they're still pretty quiet (since these are Enermax TB Silence fans). You can hear more air being moved, but it's still not too bad. Protip: avoid Cooler Master Sickleflows. While they are amazingly powerful, they have an extremely annoying bearing noise that hums regardless of voltage applied from the fan controller.

My previous rig was a CM Storm Scout with a rear-exhausting GTX 470.. sounded like a dust buster when the fans were blasting in that thing. The Vulcan and my 560ti 448 core Twin Frozr III from MSI are extremely quieter in comparison.

I'll take a picture when I get back, I'm typing this as I'm about to head out to a party. If it means anything, the tower (with handle attached) is an inch or so taller than my 23" ASUS LED monitor hooked up to it.
Edited by mingqi53 - 3/23/13 at 6:06pm
post #7 of 7
OP again, unless you have second thoughts, Silverstone offers super high quality mATX case with it's Temjin series... It's really good flat out.

Build quality, engineering are all top notch. Unless there's something that the Vulcan offers that you're specifically looking for, I have the balls on this forum to say just go for the Silverstone mATX haha

Never been let down by their cases yet. (Only had experience with 2 of them) but I've had

Elite 430
Fractal R3

& Worked in

Rosewill Redbone
Antec 300/900
PS07B
A Raidmax case
Yesz
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K G1 Sniper M3 RX 480 16gb CL9 1600 1.5v 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Seagate 3TB Crucial 500GB SSD 1TB WD Black Noctua NH-D14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Yamakasi Catleap 27" (2560x1440) dasKeyboard Silent (Browns) XFX 550w Silverstone PS07B 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Nixeus Revel SteelSeries Qck+ SR850/Klipsch 2.1 
  hide details  
Reply
Yesz
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-3570K G1 Sniper M3 RX 480 16gb CL9 1600 1.5v 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Seagate 3TB Crucial 500GB SSD 1TB WD Black Noctua NH-D14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Yamakasi Catleap 27" (2560x1440) dasKeyboard Silent (Browns) XFX 550w Silverstone PS07B 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Nixeus Revel SteelSeries Qck+ SR850/Klipsch 2.1 
  hide details  
Reply
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